‘Smart Street’ project to reduce electricity bills by up to £60 a year

Up to 45,000 customers in 180 areas in the North West are expected to benefit from the project, under which Electricity North West will install voltage control devices at substations

A new project aimed at creating a more efficient energy network is expected to help reduce electricity bills for customers by up to £60 a year.

Called ‘Smart Street’, it is being rolled out by distribution network operator Electricity North West following a successful four-year pilot and an £18 million funding from Ofgem.

The trial saw improvements in energy efficiency, which resulted in customer electricity consumption reducing by between 5% and 8%, alongside a 7% to 10% fall in carbon emissions.

Under the rollout, innovative voltage control devices, claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK, are set to be installed at substations across the Electricity North West network, which stretches from Cheshire to Cumbria.

The technology will enable the network operator to optimise the level of electricity delivered to households and businesses on various parts of the network.

Up to 45,000 customers in 180 areas in the North West are expected to benefit from the project, which will target areas with a high uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), solar panels and other low carbon technologies, particularly where these overlap with customers living in fuel poverty.

The potential carbon savings until 2050 is expected at more than 143,500 tonnes per carbon equivalent – equivalent to taking 2,570 pollution cars off the road per year.

Work will start in April 2020, with the first devices scheduled to be installed in November 2020.

Helen Boyle, Strategic Decarbonisation Manager at Electricity North West, said: “In addition to lower bills and a carbon reduction, Smart Street will increase the amount of available network capacity, which will pave the way for more low carbon technologies to be connected to the electricity network in the future.

“Both Greater Manchester and the wider UK have very ambitious carbon reduction targets, so we’re absolutely committed to playing our part in helping to achieve them. Demand for electricity is set to double over the next 20 years so we’re taking positive steps now to help the transition away from fossil fuels and make the low carbon economy a reality.

“We’re incredibly excited about the potential of Smart Street and firmly believe it’s something that could be extended to networks nationwide, helping to deliver even greater benefits for the environment and energy customers everywhere.”

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